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The School for German Brides

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In this intriguing historical novel, a young woman who is sent to a horrific "bride school" to be molded into the perfect Nazi wife finds her life forever intertwined with a young Jewish woman about to give birth.

Germany, 1939

As the war begins, Hanna Rombauer, a young German woman, is sent to live with her aunt and uncle after her mother's death. Thrown into a life of luxury she never expected, Hanna soon finds herself unwillingly matched with an SS officer. The independence that her mother lovingly fostered in her is considered highly inappropriate as the future wife of an up-and-coming officer and she is sent to a "bride school." There, in a posh villa on the outskirts of town, Hanna is taught how to be a "proper" German wife. The lessons of hatred, prejudice, and misogyny disturb her and she finds herself desperate to escape.

For Mathilde Altman, a German Jewish woman, the war has brought more devastation than she ever thought possible. Torn from her work, her family, and her new husband, she fights to keep her unborn baby safe. But when the unthinkable happens, Tilde realizes she must hide. The risk of discovery grows greater with each passing day, but she has no other options.

When Hanna discovers that Tilde hiding near the school, she knows she must help her however she can. For Tilde, fear wars with desperation. The women must take extraordinary risks to save the lives of mother and baby.

Will they both be able to escape with their lives and if they do, what kind of future can they possibly hope for?

384 pages, Paperback

First published April 26, 2022

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About the author

Aimie K. Runyan

11 books1,000 followers
Aimie K. Runyan writes to celebrate history’s unsung heroines. She has been honored as a Historical Novel Society Editors’ Choice selection, as a three-time finalist for the Colorado Book Awards, and as a nominee for the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writer of the Year. Aimie is active as an educator and speaker in the writing community and beyond. Her next books, The Castle Keepers (in collaboration with J'nell Ciesielski and Rachel McMillan) and A Bakery in Paris will release in 2023 from Harper Collins. Also from Harper Collins, Aimie's contemporary Women's Fiction debut, The Memory of Lavender and Sage, will release in early 2024. She lives in Colorado with her amazing husband, two (usually) adorable children, two (always) adorable kitties, and a dragon. To learn more about Aimie, please visit www.aimiekrunyan.com.

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5 stars
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 609 reviews
Profile Image for Thomas.
769 reviews175 followers
April 9, 2022
Four bright stars for an absorbing book of historical fiction, set in Germany, August 1938-December 1939. The book is narrated by two women, Hanna Rombauer and Mathilde Altman. Hanna is a German woman engaged to an SS officer who rapes her because he can. Mathilde "Tilde"has a German father and a Jewish mother. Her father divorces her mother when he realizes that being married to her will put him in danger.
There is a 3rd prominent person, Klara Schmidt. Klara and Hanna become friends in the BDM(Bund Deutscher Madel), a Hitler youth group that their parents/ guardians insist that they join. Hanna is staying with her Aunt and Uncle, because her mother has died and her father believes that she will be better off with his brother and wife. Klara was hoping that SS officer Friedrich Schroeder would ask her to marry, but he decides to ask Hanna.
Although the title and blurb suggest that the main focus of the book is a school for German brides, this does not happen until more than halfway through the book. Both Klara nad Hanna are sent to this prestigious school to learn how to be proper wives for German officers.
I won this book in a Goodreads giveaway. Thank You William Morrow for sending me this book.
Profile Image for Sheri.
1,152 reviews59 followers
June 30, 2022
Three women with parallel lives, two with similar paths, three very different outcomes. Each woman pretends to be someone they're not, but with limited freedoms the course has been set for each.

While I was interested in the setting and the characters, I found this to be lacking excitement and truly suspenseful moments that should have come during certain scenes. An emotional charge would have elevated the story and left a greater impression with the reader.

Like other reviewers, I was also disappointed that there wasn't more about the bride school. The title leads one to believe that the school will play a central role, but it doesn't come in until late in the book and is passed over all too quickly. A different title would have moderated reader expectations and lessened the focus on the school aspect and increased awareness of the cultural and societal expectations of the time that were placed on women. I kept waiting to get to the school and learn more, and as a result I often glossed over the 'teaching" and "learning" that were already happening at home and in society.

An enjoyable read that I had hoped to rate higher. I appreciate that it did occasionally cause me to stop and think about the people, the events, and the overall situation but it failed to invoke as strong a sympathetic response as I expected it might. 3.5 stars
Profile Image for Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader.
2,184 reviews30.5k followers
May 9, 2022
About the book: “In this intriguing historical novel, a young woman who is sent to a horrific "bride school" to be molded into the perfect Nazi wife finds her life forever intertwined with a young Jewish woman about to give birth.”

World War II and the Holocaust… The untold stories are countless. The School for German Brides is one such story. A school to train women into being perfect Nazi wives. Just as the war begins, Hanna’s mother passes away, and she’s sent to live with relatives and then matched with an SS officer. Her mother had allowed her to be independent, but that is not ok in her upcoming role, so she’s sent to school to unlearn and relearn how to be a “proper” wife. Hanna never accepts this and wants to flee.

Tilde is both German and Jewish and also pregnant. Her life is becoming more dangerous, and she has to go into hiding. Hanna discovers Tilde and determines she must help her. You also have to meet Klara and how she connects to the story.

The School for German Brides is tightly written, and gosh, I loved these characters. It’s an emotional story full of compassion and people willing to sacrifice it all for others. A haunting story, a harrowing journey, and the goodness of others. Well-done.

I received a gifted copy.

Many of my reviews can also be found on my blog: www.jennifertarheelreader.com and instagram: www.instagram.com/tarheelreader
Profile Image for Karren  Sandercock .
850 reviews177 followers
April 26, 2022
The School For German Brides is a story about three young German women and what happens to them during the Second World War. They come from different backgrounds, due to the war their circumstances change and during a extremely volatile time.

Hanna Rombauer leaves Teisendorf, her father sends her to live with her aunt Charlotte and uncle Otto in Berlin. Hanna wants to finish school, go to university and become a doctor. Hitler won’t allow women to work as doctors, instead he wants them to marry and have babies. Aunt Charlotte showers Hanna with expensive clothes and jewellery and she discovers why. She wants Hanna to marry influential SS officer Friedrich Schroeder, he's much older than her and she feels trapped.

Klara Schmidt attends the same school as Hanna, Klara's mother is friends and mixes in the same party social circles as Hanna's aunt and uncle. They meet a young Jewish dressmaker called Mathilde Altman, Titlde's situation is grim, she's alone and pregnant. The School For German Brides gives you an idea of what it was like for young German women during the Second World War, they were expected to to their patriotic duty, marry a brave German soldier and have Aryan babies. But it wasn't the same for everyone, so Hanna and Klara team together while at " Bride School " to what they can for Tilde and her unborn baby.

I received a copy of The School For German Brides from NetGalley and William Morrow and Custom House in exchange for an honest review, Aimie K. Runyan looks at the Second World War from a different point of view and what it was like for German women at the time. I felt a real connection to the characters and cared about what happened to them due to how well the narrative was written and five stars from me.
Profile Image for Karen.
1,426 reviews201 followers
August 12, 2023
Catching up for Goodreads.

This was probably my WWII story reading period. My conclusion will give you an understanding of where I am now.

Premise: This book examines the impact of social and political beliefs on the lives of 3 young women living in 1938 and beyond in Germany.

Hanna, following her mother’s unexpected death, is now living in Berlin with her Aunt and Uncle, who are Hitler supporters. Hanna aspires to be a doctor, like her mother. Hanna is befriended by a second teen, Klara. Klara’s parents are active in the Nazi party, and have grand plans for Klara to marry an SS officer.

No doubt the author’s discerning insights into the strained social settings the teens are thrust into are causing this reader sincere stress and angst.

Events hosted by Hanna’s Aunt and Uncle and the deplorable, disgusting plans that involve Hanna also feel unimaginable and difficult for this reader/reviewer to witness.


This reader/reviewer continued reading.

The third young woman is Tilde (mixed Jewish and Gentile heritage), an amazing seamstress. She and her mom live in fear for their safety. They earn a meager living at a fabric shop while Tilde’s dream of studying law disappears.

The story is filled with historical details and political views of women’s “duty” to Germany. Young girls, groomed to be in service to the Fatherland are encouraged to join the Band of German Maidens (BDM), which is part of the Hitler Youth.

The “schools for German brides” teach that “motherhood is your sacred duty…the very reason you were born.”

Is this the girl’s destiny?

What will become of Hanna, Klara and Tilde?

Will they serve their country under Hitler? – or forge a better life?

What will become of their friendship?

Will they survive?

Compelling. Intriguing. Haunting. Fast-paced. Thought-provoking. Difficult read for this reviewer.

Is it time for this reviewer to take a break from WWII stories?
Profile Image for Katie B.
1,352 reviews3,006 followers
April 28, 2022
I pass on the majority of WW2 historical fiction novels but I made an exception for The School for German Brides because it offered the opportunity to learn about a different aspect of the war. The premise is odd and intriguing as part of the storyline involves young German women receiving training on how to be a perfect wife for when the time comes to marry a Nazi officer. It was a fascinating read.

The story takes place in Germany in the year 1939 and alternates between two women, Hanna Rombauer and Mathilde Altman. Hanna has been sent to live with her wealthy aunt and uncle after her mother's death. She soon realizes she is expected to marry to improve her social standing rather than for love. She wants no part in a world where she is forced to be a dutiful wife and mother not just for her husband but for the good of the country. Instead she dreams of becoming a doctor even though the government banned females from practicing medicine.

Mathilde Altman is Jewish and is working with her mother as a seamstress to make ends meet. It has been increasingly difficult lately as more and more Jewish owned businesses have been targets by the government.

The publisher synopsis practically gives you the entire outline of the story so I chose to just give you a few details rather than spoil everything. The author did a great job making you feel invested in the lead characters. And I don't think that was the easiest feat to pull off when it comes to the character of Hanna. A first impression might be to not have an ounce of sympathy for Hanna because in comparison Mathilde's situation is dire. But it goes to show you that yes, the two women have different backgrounds, different circumstances but neither were in complete control of the future. It's sad, it's dark, it's tragic, but you also see glimpses of light as you witness acts of bravery.

A worthwhile read in my humble opinion.

I won an advance copy of this book in a giveaway by Book Club Girl and the publisher. All thoughts expressed are my honest opinion.
Profile Image for Taury.
556 reviews126 followers
March 23, 2023
The School for German Brides by Aimie K Runyan was a wonderful book about a German girl that becomes part of the German high society who is forced to marry a Nazi after her mother died. Another young girl is half Jewish. Dad abandons her mom and her do to them being Jewish. In the end the young ladies unite and end up surviving WW11. Very well written, fast paced book. I enjoyed it a lot
Profile Image for Nic.
1,553 reviews140 followers
May 4, 2022
While the title of the book was The School for German Brides, I didn't really learn anything about this school until I was half way through the book. I found this a bit puzzling and really wanted more information about this school for German brides.
Basically, the story is about three German women trying to survive as best they can as the war escalates. Hard decisions need to be made. What strengths they had to have to survive.
Overall, it was ok read for me. I did read it to the end and have to say the last part of the story did get better.
Thank you to NetGalley, the publisher and author for the opportunity to read this book for my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.
Profile Image for Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews.
1,082 reviews1,412 followers
April 28, 2022
It is 1938 in Germany, and we meet Hanna, Tilde, and Klara.

Hanna has been sent to live with her wealthy aunt and uncle in Berlin with the sole purpose of having Hanna marry a high-ranking German officer and raise their status as well.

Tilde is a Jewish seamstress trying to stay safe during this time of turmoil and was friends with both Hanna and Klara.

Klara was a wealthy German woman but one who secretly helped her Jewish friends and others.

Alternating chapters tell us of Hanna’s and Tilde’s life - one whose life had advantages and one who was living in fear.

You will feel the pain both women are feeling and for different reasons...one because she had to be a cruel German officer's wife and one because she and her baby had to hide and keep under the radar.

Klara was good to both women.

THE SCHOOL FOR GERMAN BRIDES is excellently written and a book that will draw you in because of how well the author portrays the three main characters, their plights, and their strength.

THE SCHOOL FOR GERMAN BRIDES is a book you will be anxious to get back to and will love. 5/5

This book was given to me by the publisher via NetGalley for an honest review.
Profile Image for J'nell Ciesielski.
Author 9 books756 followers
November 23, 2021
Equal parts fascinating and horrifying, Runyan offers a riveting tale of love, loss, and survival not only of life but of the human spirit. Readers are dipped into a genteel world of young ladies, wooing suitors, satin dresses, and proper etiquette, but this world is a thin veneer for hatred and intolerance for anything less than perfect. Compelling from start to finish, this is Runyan's finest work yet.
Profile Image for Shirley McAllister.
1,014 reviews130 followers
April 5, 2022
Given No Choice

A tragic and heartbreaking story of three young women growing up in a Germany that is being controlled by the Nazi Party. Of choices they were not allowed to make and choices they were forced to make in order to stay alive.

In this time of chaos where the Jewish population was forced to either flee Germany or stay and be sent to concentration or death camps to perish. A story of those that would help them and those that would denounce them to the Germans. No one was safe and no place was safe. Those you thought were friends and relatives were as dangerous as the Nazi's themselves.

Tilde is a dressmaker, her and her mother run a small dry goods store and make custom dresses for the rich that can afford them. Tilde even gives dressmaking lessons to those girls in an affluent home that wish them. This is how she meets Klara whom she gives lessons to on dressmaking. Then when Hanna is sent to live with her aunt and uncle and needs dresses for dances and dinners Klara recommends Tilde to Hanna.

Tilde's father is a Nazi and he left Tilde and divorced her mother when it became unhealthy for a German to be married to a Jewish woman. After Tilde's husband left to find his Jewish family that had been taken away by the Nazi's, she is pregnant and alone. When the German's raid her apartment and shop she has no one to help and goes to Klara for help.

Both Klara and Hanna are engaged to German SS Officers that have been chosen by Klara's parents and Hanna's aunt and uncle. Since they have had some views and a few issues that are unbecoming to a German wife they have both been sent to a school for German brides to learn to be the perfect German wife. All they want is to escape but that is not a choice given to them.

When Tilde asks Klara for help she is on the brink of having her baby. Klara hides her in a caretaker's shack on an estate by the school. When her baby comes she enlists Hanna's help who delivers Tilde's baby in the shack. Tilde is caught escaping and the girls make up a story to keep her safe, but Friedrich , Hannah's fiancee does not buy it and she must marry him to keep Tilde and the baby safe.

What will become of Tilde and the baby and will Klara and Hanna be safe with the ruthless SS Officers they have been forced to marry? What is their story and how will it take place? This was a book about women and how they were oppressed in Nazi Germany. How they exerted themselves in little ways to help others and how dangerous it was for everyone that disagreed in any way with the Nazi Party.

This was a good historical book, it wasn't violent nor did it go into gruesome details of the war, but rather it spoke of the truths and the horrors of the Nazi regime. It spoke of the German people and how it was in that time in history.

I am glad I read this book and I would recommend it.

Thanks to Aimie K. Runyan for writing a great story, to William Morrow and Custom House for publishing it and to NetGalley for making it available to me.
Profile Image for theliterateleprechaun .
1,392 reviews28 followers
June 6, 2022
Have you ever heard of a bridal bootcamp?

Trust Heinrich Himmler to see a need for creating Reichsbrauteschule, German Bride Schools! Hitler’s right-hand man established these schools in 1936 because he was anxious that his SS men would marry the right women. These schools trained young women to be perfect wives. They were taught obedience, housekeeping, child-raising, and loving Hitler.

Author Aimie K. Runyan explores what it was like to be a woman in Germany during this country’s darkest moment in history. She uses Hanna Rombauer, Klara Schmidt and Mathilde Altman to showcase young girls’ duty to Germany and, as they matured, the limited power that women had under Hitler’s regime. Runyan highlights the teenage mindset and reveals that it was not unlike our present pandemic mindset; a longing for a return to normalcy and an end to discussion centered around war, or in our case, masks and vaccinations. The author questions if when these teens transitioned into adulthood would they do the right thing or would they find it easier to go with the flow?

I was shocked and outraged at learning about this piece of history and astounded by the ripple effect of complicity. I’m sure if Hanna, Klara and Mathilde could talk to us, they’d warn us about apathy and manipulation. They’d tell us that ‘sitting on the fence’ is not an option, nor is political neutrality; both are impossible and good bedfellows to oppression.

I really enjoyed this book and look forward to reading Runyan’s backlist. I was swept away this weekend in a story that held my attention; characters were well crafted, the narrative flowed easy, and I was genuinely interested in reading to find out how society and politics shaped these young minds. This is 5-star historical fiction.
Profile Image for Literary Redhead.
1,733 reviews515 followers
March 3, 2022
The author is a masterful historical fiction writer, as evidenced by this gripping tale of young women in Germany in 1939.

Hanna is from a prominent Nazi family and forced to attend a bride school before she weds an older SS officer. She is a spirited independent thinker, and this arranged engagement and all the Nazis stand for go against her deepest beliefs.

When she discovers a young pregnant Jewish woman hiding, she knows she must help her even at great risk to herself.

The story totally captured me and left me asking: "Would I have the courage to do the right thing?"

The best books leave me pondering searing questions, and The School for German Brides did just that. Highly recommended for histfic fans, those interested in pre-WWII, and anyone who loves tales that won't let you go.

Pub Date Apr 26, 2022
#TheSchoolforGermanBrides #NetGalley

Thanks to the author and William Morrow and Custom House, William Morrow Paperbacks, for the review copy, plus NetGalley for the ARC. Opinions are mine.
Profile Image for Soraya Lane.
Author 117 books1,415 followers
April 1, 2022
Without a doubt this is the best historical fiction novel I've read in a long time. A brilliant cast of characters, flawless writing... I honestly felt like I was there. I highly recommend this novel to all my readers, it was WWII fiction at its absolute best. An easy 5 stars from me!
Profile Image for Vaso.
1,208 reviews157 followers
September 22, 2023
Γερμανία, 1939
Η Χάνα, μετά το θάνατο της μητέρας της μετακομίζει με τους θείους της, οι οποίοι αναλαμβάνουν να την προετοιμάσουν για το λαμπρό μέλλον που της αξίζει, ως σύζυγο αξιωματικού των Ες-Ες. Η Τίλντε, γερμανοεβραία που ζει με τη μητέρα της, κρατά το μαγαζί με τα υφάσματα και κρύβει την καταγωγή της για να αποφύγει τα χειρότερα.Οι ζωές τους συναντιούνται, όταν η Τίλντε γίνεται μοδίστρα της Χάνα...όμως, όταν έρθουν τα δύσκολα, η μία από τις δύο, δεν έχει άλλη επιλογή από το να εμπιστευτεί ότι η άλλη θα τη βοηθήσει και δεν θα την προδώσει.
Έχω πει κατά καιρούς ότι μια χρονική περίοδος για την οποία δεν θα σταματήσω ποτέ να διαβάζω, είναι η περίοδος του ΒΠΠ. Σε αυτό το βιβλίο, η συγγραφέας, μέσω της Χάνα, μας δείχνει την αντίθεση που είχαν ορισμένοι από τους Γερμανούς πολίτες απέναντι στην πολιτική του Χίτλερ, αλλά και πόσο δύσκολο είναι να τη δείξουν χωρίς να κινδυνέψουν, καθώς και την εκμετάλευση που υπήρχε από όσους ήθελαν να αναδειχθούν κοινωνικά, μη διστάζοντας να θυσιάσουν οτιδήποτε θα έφερνε το επιθυμητο αποτέλεσμα. Η Τίλντε από την άλλη, δείχνει τις δυσκολίες και τους κινδύνους που είχαν όσοι ήταν κατά το ήμισι Γερμανοί και ζούσαν με το φόβο της αποκάλυψης.
Με μικρά κεφάλαια και εναλλαγές ανάμεσα στις ζωές των δύο γυναικών η Runyan έγραψε έναν βιβλίο για τον πόλεμο, αποφεύγοντας τις φρικαλεότητες και επιμένοντας περισσότερο στους χαρακτήρες, την ανάγκη τους να αγαπήσουν και να αγαπηθούν, σε έναν κόσμο που τα κοσμικά σουαρέ και η πολυτέλεια, είναι δείγμα κύρους και επιτυχίας κι όπου η θέση της γυναίκας υποβιβάζεται όλο κια περισσότερο...αλλά, όσο κι αν καμφθεί το σώμα, όσο κι αν πονάει η απώλεια, το πνεύμα κι η ανάγκη για ελευθερία, μένει κρυμμένο και καλά φυλαγμένο, για να ανθίσει όταν οι συνθήκες ωριμάσουν.

"..ο οποιοσδήποτε, θα θελήσει να σε καταδώσει για να σώσει το τομάρι του. Και μαζί σου μπορεί να καταστραφεί και όποιος αγαπάς. Να το θυμάσαι αυτό κάθε φορά που κάνεις κάτι.
-Άρα να μην εμπιστεύομαι κανέναν; Ούτε καν εσένα;
-Αγάπη μου, αν αυτό σήμαινε ότι θα βελτίωνα τη θέση μου στο κόμμα, θα σε κατέδιδα πιο γρήγορα απ'ότι θα στέγνωνε το μελάνι στο ένταλμά σου. Και δεν υπάρχει ούτε ένας άνθρωπος που να μην έκανε το ίδιο."
Profile Image for Sydney Long.
217 reviews23 followers
April 26, 2022
This is a captivating story about women in Germany during WWII. What does one do when you are betrothed to one of the highest ranking members of the SS…especially when you have dreams and a mind of your own. This is the challenge that is set before Hanna when she is sent to live with her aunt and uncle in Berlin. As they climb the Nazi party ladder, it’s imperative that they marry off their niece to a man of great prestige no matter how cruel and controlling he might be. Hanna struggles to keep her head above water and at times fears for her life. Tilde is in a similar situation of trying to survive though her challenges are different as she is a Mischling and her very existence is threatened. They are linked by one moment in time that changes both of their lives forever.

This book kept me on the edge of my seat from start to finish. It really made me think about what I would do if I were in each of these ladies situations. Being a woman in Germany during WWII, I just can’t even fathom. I’m grateful for this book because even though it is a work of fiction, it portrayed real possibilities and from different points of views.

Thank you to NetGalley, William Morrow and Custom House and Aimee K Runyan for early access to this page turner.
July 21, 2023
¿Me estaré poniendo muy exigente? Mmm..

En esta novela se narra la historia de tres mujeres, Hanna, Tilde y Klara. Las tres viven en una Alemania dominada por el nazismo, al comienzo de la Segunda Guerra Mundial, pero tienen realidades completamente distintas. Hanna y Klara vienen de familias que apoyan al régimen, Tilde tiene antepasados judíos e intenta mantenerse a salvo.

La historia se cuenta a dos voces, la de Hanna y Tilde. La primera, viviendo una vida de lujos y ventajas. La segunda, cargando con un miedo constante a ser descubierta.

Primero lo primero. Temas formales.

El título del libro no tiene ningún sentido. Recién se habla de "la escuela" en la página 260. Yo diría que, salvo por 3 capítulos, ni siquiera se ahonda en lo que ocurre en este lugar. No sé si la intención era desmarcarse de otras novelas relativas al "nazismo", pero me parece en cualquier caso una decisión muy mala. Induce a error, hace que el lector espere algo que se le entrega recién tras avanzar 3/4 partes del libro.

Ahora, lo peor de todo: la sinopsis de la contraportada. POR FAVOR no la lean. Spoilea practicamente el 90% del libro. ¡¿POR QUÉ HACEN ESTO?! La leí cuando ya iba en la página 100 (a fin de aclarar hacia donde iba el libro, me sentía perdida) y literalmente se me reveló toda la trama.

Ahora, temas de contenido.

Me parece que el libro es interesante, pero le faltó emoción en gran parte de la historia. La narrativa es super "informativa", hasta la página 300 el ritmo es lento, hay mucha descripción y foco en acciones bastante irrelevantes (descripción de como los personajes se visten, por ejemplo, o presentación de personajes que luego no juegan ningún rol en la trama).

La profunda construcción de los personajes principales (mucha reflexión interna, así que conocemos absolutamente todo de estas tres mujeres) y las últimas 50 páginas son lo mejor del libro. Desde la página 350 en adelante, los capítulos se vuelven (al fin) enganchantes y dan razones para seguir leyendo de corrido (secretos, traiciones, escondites...).

Entonces, cuando creí que todo era mejor... llegó un final que... no me convenció. El libro se volvió plano otra vez.

Diría que estuvo "bien". Bien-regular. Pero no me aportó mucho a lo que ya he ido descubriendo a partir de otras ficciones historicas de la SGM (creí que el aporte sería el tema de la escuela, pero como ya les comenté, hubo casi nulo enfoque en eso).

Creo que es un libro muy bien escrito, pero quizás un poco trillado para mi.

Profile Image for Rachel.
2,143 reviews83 followers
November 1, 2021
The School for German Brides by Aimie K. Runyan is a great WWII-sra historical fiction that kept me entertained and on the edge of my seat from beginning to end.

I have been a fan of Ms. Runyan for a while now, so I was excited to read her newest book.

This one alternates between Hanna and Tilde giving the reader several angles and viewpoints in which to experience the plot. This mostly takes place in the late 1930s in Berlin. We see how society is changing from the “German upper class” standpoint and from the standpoint of Tilde, a German Jew. It is fascinating to see the same events and time period from the eyes of two women that give it a stark contrast between one another. It is also fascinating to contemplate what characteristics that are present within someone that either allows them to follow the masses obediently, as Hanna was initially expected to do, or to challenge the system and choose right from wrong…risking everything in that choice.

The strong female characters, the relationships, the suspense, the surprises, and the final ending all were satisfying and entertaining despite some of the heavier material presented.

A great historical fiction book that could even appeal to book clubs as well.

4.5/5 stars

Thank you NG and William Morrow for this wonderful arc and in return I am submitting my unbiased and voluntary review and opinion.

I am posting this review to my GR and Bookbub accounts immediately and will post it to my Amazon, Instagram, and B&N accounts upon publication.
Profile Image for Olga Kowalska (WielkiBuk).
1,463 reviews2,386 followers
November 27, 2022
Kiedy nawet materiał na sukienkę staje się upolityczniony… Jedna z tych powieści historycznych, które przyciągają uwagę czytelnika detalem, pokazując urywek rzeczywistości jak pod lupą, dając wgląd w zwyczajną rzeczywistość sprzed dziesięcioleci.

W „Szkole niemieckich narzeczonych” obserwujemy ten przerażający świat z perspektywy zwykłej ulicy i berlińskiego salonu. Obserwujemy zmiany, jakie zachodzą w rzeczywistości młodych kobiet. Jak zmieniają się zasady panujące w rodzinach, jak ambicje i pozycja w partii kierują kolejnymi wyborami. Kończy się czas zaufania. Teraz każdy aspekt życia staje się upolityczniony. Nawet wybór materiału na sukienkę nabiera wymiaru symbolicznego. Nawet porcja jedzenia na talerzu okazuje się mieć znaczenie. Młoda kobieta ma być uległa, ma być silna, ma być płodna i rodzić dzieci. Ma mieć figurę matki, a nie filigranowej postaci z ekranów filmowych. Jej wizerunek kulturowy przeistacza się w wizerunek mityczny – kobieta niemiecka ma przypominać podobizny z plakatów propagandowych, ni mniej, ni więcej. Bohaterki Aimie K. Runyan nie mają wyboru – muszą się dopasować, bo każdy wymiar buntu staje się buntem przeciw systemowi.

Przed czytelnikiem wycinek historii, który pozwala wyobrazić sobie rzeczywistość u progu wybuchu II Wojny Światowej w nazistowskich Niemczech widzianą z perspektywy młodych dziewcząt, które dopiero wchodzą w dorosłość. Jednocześnie, to opowieść o niezgodzie, o buncie, o przywiązaniu i przyjaźni, która rodzi się we wzajemnym zrozumieniu. Fascynujący kawał opowieści.
Profile Image for Joanna Olson.
570 reviews16 followers
May 9, 2022
The School for German Brides was a different type of HF book and it definitely opened my eyes to what was happening outside of the concentration camps during WWII but in the more affluent homes of Hitler supporters. Hanna, Klara and Tilde are three different women whose stories we get to know a lot about during the novel. Tilde is half Jewish and is often spared because of her light colored hair and more german looking features. Hanna is sent to live with her Hitler supporting aunt and uncle in Berlin after her mom dies and Klara meets Hanna at a meeting for young German women. While this was an informative and detailed book, I wish we were shown more of what Hanna and Klara's lives were like in the School for German Brides. I felt that the pacing was a bit off seeing that we only were taken to the school during the last 100 pages. Other than that I thought this was a great read!
Profile Image for Christine M in Texas.
1,035 reviews101 followers
April 27, 2022
This is the story about Hanna, Tidle and Klara. They all come from different backgrounds and expectations. This novel is set in WWII in Germany. They each have their own desires.

Hanna wants to go to school to become a doctor, but her aunt and uncle want her to marry Frederick, an SS officer who takes what he wants. Klara wants to become a fashion designer and Tilde a lawyer. They each have obstacles in their way including Hitler’s laws as Tilde is a Jewish dressmaker and is fighting to survive.

As the women are sent to a school for German Brides, they are taught to be proper wives to their German soldiers and produce children for the Fatherland.

A unique novel, that captivating me from the first page. If you love Historical Fiction, I highly recommend this book.
Profile Image for Susan Peterson.
1,633 reviews279 followers
April 26, 2022
Aimie K. Runyan has written another extraordinary historical fiction novel, further cementing her reputation as one of the best authors of that genre. In this book she has transported us to Germany in the late 1930’s, when the atrocities against Jews, immigrants, and “others” are becoming rampant. Thrust in the middle of this era are two young German women; Hanna, whose life becomes entrenched in the world of being a proper German wife to an SS officer; and Tilde, a German Jewish woman whose way of life, her home, her loved ones, and her own life could be torn from her at any moment. Each of their stories are equally compelling and filled with heartache; both women are fighting the misogyny, prejudice and expectations of that time, with the backdrop of the war and Hitler’s Germany making it nearly impossible for them to escape. I worried about them, I cheered for them, I wept for them, I was proud of them for all of the ways they tried to make a difference for others as well as themselves. I couldn’t help but wonder how many more Hanna’s there were during the war, women who had little choice but to toe the line, outwardly being the perfect German wife—but inside churning with a desperation to flee that life, to find a way to help those whose lives were destroyed by their powerful, brutal husbands? And isn’t that the beauty of good historical fiction; to see beyond the facts and figures, to live alongside the characters in a book to gain understanding and compassion, for the real, complex people who lived through these events?
Profile Image for Nursebookie.
2,192 reviews339 followers
May 14, 2022
TITLE: The School for German Brides: A Novel of World War II
AUTHOR: Aimie K Runyan- Vetter
PUB DATE: 04.26.22 Now Available

Germany, 1939
As the war begins, Hanna Rombauer, a young German woman, whose life intersects with Mathilde ‘Tilde’ Altman, a pregnant German Jewish woman.

Hanna finds herself fixed to enjoy seems to be a perfect life of luxury and position, when she finds herself unwillingly matched with an SS officer, sent off to bride school where once again, she finds herself in unimaginable situation, that she must leave. Hanna finds herself helping Tilde, and in doing so risks her own life to save mother and baby.

The writing was rich in detail and wonderfully researched. I could not believe what I keep on learning about WWII historical fiction. There is always an angle I have yet to learn about or a detail lost in history. I enjoyed the engaging plot that was exciting and thrilling that kept me turning those pages.
Profile Image for  Kath.
1,011 reviews
December 31, 2022
It's a really interesting story and heartbreaking...as are all of the WW11 books I've read.
It was a bit slow and repetitive at times and I wish there had been more detail about the school for brides (for SS officers fiances) given that it was an "organization" that I'd not come across before in my previous reading of historical novels.

As always with this genre, I'm horrified at the atrocities humans can do to one another... but also moved that there were still a lot of good people trying to fight the evilness and brutality that surrounded them.

I will definitely read more by this author.
Profile Image for Amy Specht.
100 reviews5 followers
June 18, 2022
This story is interesting, exciting and terrifying all at the same time. A good read for anyone who enjoys historical fiction!
Hanna, a German girl bound for marriage to a high ranking officer, and Tilde, a mixed blood Jewish German girl find their way through WWII with unexpected connections between them.
I truly enjoyed my first novel of Runyan, and I’m interested to read other books of hers in the future. I found her writing style to be very easy to follow and easy to get emotionally involved in her story and characters.
I felt real emotions for both the main characters, Hanna and Hilde. Throughout the novel I continually asked myself what I would do in the situations presented to these characters as life in these times would be incredibly awful and difficult.
I extremely disliked EVERY SINGLE male character in this book. Now I assume the author did this on purpose? I should hope so. There were few moments where I thought Runyan would change my mind about some of the males, and then nope, it just wasn’t happening.
My only critique, and it’s a tiny one, is the title of this novel.
Highly recommend this one if you like historical fiction during WWII!
1,655 reviews28 followers
December 8, 2021
SO many books have been written on WWII that you can’t help but read the same story over and over. This book, however, takes a completely fresh perspective from the perspective of women, both Jewish and Gentile. From the earliest days of HItler’s rise to the fall of Germany and beyond.

I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed this book. The perspective was absolutely touching and you find yourself pleading for the safety of the main characters, their family and friends. While not everyone survived WWII, we know that some did and not all Germans were supportive of the Fuhrer’s efforts. Take the time to read this one and you’ll see see a different perspective than so many others have written. I highly recommend this book for Historical Fiction lovers.
Profile Image for Lily.
12 reviews2 followers
March 16, 2023
A good read that left me wishing it had been great - this book had so much substance, but not enough finesse.
I enjoyed the fully fleshed-out characters and well-built world, but the writing itself was dry and occasionally overly descriptive. The pacing left much to be desired, so it often felt difficult to tell just where the book was headed. (I thought it was just slow going at the beginning, but then all the sudden I was in an epilogue without realizing I’d reached the climax.. I also felt that an oddly small amount of the plot was devoted to the school itself given its titular significance.)
Finally, I found things tied up a bit too neatly at the end; I never appreciate when characters tell me just how to feel about everything they’ve endured and learned and what other characters meant to them. This scene had all the subtlety and nuance of the end of a moralistic children’s cartoon. This book may have been a five star read for me if the ending had felt more emotionally true and vibrant.
Profile Image for Dawnny.
Author 1 book29 followers
May 9, 2022
This story takes place in 1938 Germany. When Hanna's mother dies she is sent to live with her wealthy aunt and uncle. They expect Hanna to marry a German officer and send her to bride school to learn how to be a proper German wife. Hanna is independent and doesn't approve of all the things happening or the ways of the Nazi's. There is also a German Jewish woman named Mathilde who is in fear for the safety of her unborn child. I love the strength and courage these woman had. This was a tear jerker for me as I easily placed myself in their shoes and my thoughts raced with what would I do? Don't miss this one. It will definitely stay with you long after.

Dawnny Ruby
Novels N Latte
Hudson Valley NY
Profile Image for Zayna.
103 reviews14 followers
May 10, 2022
As powerful as the prose was, the ending was a let down
Profile Image for Linda Zagon.
1,398 reviews119 followers
May 18, 2022
Aimie K. Runyan, the author of “The School for German Brides” has written an intriguing, captivating, and intense novel. The genre for this novel is Historical Fiction, and the timeline is World War Two in Germany. I love the way the author describes her dramatic and colorful characters and the landscape. The characters are described as complex, and complicated. Some are courageous, and some are weak and evil. During this tragic time in history, I was fascinated by Aimie K. Runyan’s mention of “The School for German Brides” There was a unique educational school for fiancees of German soldiers to learn to be exemplary wives and support Hitler’s views of German theology through motherhood and the expectations of what German wives should excel in.

There are three women in this story. Hanna is sent to live with her wealthy aunt and uncle in Germany after her mother’s death. Her aunt and uncle try to groom her so she can meet a prestigious SS soldier. Everything seems to be determined for her. Hanna does remember how kind and helpful her mother was, and would love to be a doctor, which is frowned upon. Hanna questions hatred, prejudice, and politics. When she becomes engaged to a SS soldier, she finds herself under pressure.

Klara is an acquaintance of Hanna, and for a while they are friends. Klara is pressured to find an SS soldier as well.

Tilde, owns a sewing and fabric store. Her mother is Jewish, and her father is German and abandoned her and her mother. Tilde is able to get away with her German physical appearance and seems to be safe for a while. She does marry and gets pregnant.

Especially during this climate in German, there is betrayal, and it is hard to know who to trust. There are secrets, betrayals, and danger. Some women band together, and there is a sisterhood.

The author has written a memorable and thought-provoking novel that I highly recommend for others to read.
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